Former El Pollo Loco CMO Joins Friendly's as Chief Branding Officer
FIC Restaurants, Inc. announced the appointment of Ed Valle as its chief branding officer. Valle, who has over 20 years of experience in restaurants, consumer packaged goods, and brand marketing at both the national and global level, is excited to bring his insight to the Friendly’s executive team. Valle officially assumed this role on October 15 and reports to Friendly’s Chief Executive Officer George Michel.
“We look forward to strengthening the leadership team of Friendly’s with the appointment of Ed Valle, an executive whose proven track record will make him instrumental in helping to elevate the Friendly’s brand in the future,” says Michel. “I know firsthand how effective Ed can be with turning a brand around, and as someone with a similar background I feel confident that we will join forces to reestablish Friendly’s position in the dining space.”
Valle joins the Friendly’s team with an extensive background of valuable experiences, all of which have prepared him for his new role. For the last seven years, Valle served as chief marketing officer for El Pollo Loco, Inc., where he and his team developed and launched the turnaround strategy that led to the brand’s 2014 IPO. Prior to entering the restaurant industry and leading the marketing and brand strategy at El Pollo Loco, Valle held the role of chief marketing strategist for Choice Hotels International, Inc. As a veteran marketing executive, earlier, Valle also served as vice president of marketing at Panera Bread Company. Additionally, he has held marketing leadership positions at Dunkin’ Donuts, Subway Restaurants, Diageo, and Nestlé.
“Growing up in the Northeast and having spent time living in the Boston area, I have many great memories of times spent at Friendly’s restaurants. I’m thrilled to return to the East Coast and begin to work on restoring this well-respected brand to what it once was for so many people, including myself,” adds Valle. “I look forward to working alongside a fantastic team led by the former CEO of Boston Market, George Michel, whose wealth of knowledge on the food service industry, as well as how to effectively turn restaurant brands around, is invaluable.
Valle holds a bachelor's degree in operations and logistics management from Michigan State University and a master’s of business administration from Fordham University.